Wrapping up Season One of the Innovation Ecosystem Podcast and reviewing the insights our many remarkable and thought provoking guests have given on leadership, innovation, and change in the world of business.
Innovation Ecosystem Season One Wrap Up
Hello, I am Roddy Miller. Welcome to the concluding show of our first session of Innovation Ecosystem.
Hi everybody, it is Mark Bidwell. We kicked this series off almost 5 months ago. We would like to thank our listeners and our guests for all the support they have given us over the months.
We wanted to wrap up the season with the reviews, what we have learned, and what is in store for the second season, which will start in a couple of months. We’ll tease out the things we have found in our 22 conversations with our remarkable and thought provoking guests. We will look around at our next series and what we can expect. But before doing that Mark, this series is your brain child. We have seen it take its first steps. Tell me, is it going the direction you wanted and expected?
Yes. I have been doing this kind of work for 20 years in the corporate world. What I wanted to do with this show is to make available the resources that I use in making my team successful in the corporate world, and also the other resources that I wish had access to. We wanted to focus on curating the best possible materials and resources that are proven to work to help people innovate, and making these resources available in an easy and consumable way. The subject here is Leadership, Innovation, Change, and the interplay among the three areas.
We have been very keen to experiment with different media in an innovative way. It is not just in podcast, but also in transcripts and visual imagery. Also, we have a very broad range of guests on the show who are often at the very cutting edge of their fields, it is really pushing the boundary of knowledge, performance, and execution.
What have been the stand out moments and successes?
I think in the first few months, we have grown much faster than we have expected by interviewing the world’s best academics, business thinkers, and high performers in the arts, sports, and other areas. Many of our guests and their organizations are likely to be familiar to you, and you can see their full details on our website: www.InnovationEcosystem.com.
People like David Allen who is the creator of Getting Things Done approached a stress-free way to productivity. Past and present CEOs in companies like American Express Bank, DSM Nutritional Products, and Evalueserve are examples. People like Kevin Kelly, founder of Wired Magazine and author of the best-selling book, The Inevitable., about the impact technology has on our home and our working lives.
I have been amazed in the quality of guests and the value that they have shared with us too.
It wasn’t just us who were surprised by our guests. We also hit noteworthy in iTunes and several markets including the UK and the US. This is prompted by dozens of ratings and reviews from around the world. Beyond the podcast, our visual records of the interviews are proving to be popular on social media. Thanks very much to Holga and his team for making these wonderful visual recordings in every single interview that we have done.
We have also produced transcripts of every episode for those who prefer to read. Many of our busy executives don’t listen to podcasts, but love the transcripts. One of our most popular transcripts was widely circulated at the Berkshire Hathaway in AGM in Omaha in the beginning of April. We have been approached by a number of commercial and educational organizations requesting access to our materials. Organizations like London Business School, London Corporate Education, Psychology Today, Inc. Magazine, and the Global Entrepreneur Community.
Today, we are in the top 20% of all podcast produced worldwide. Well over 75% of our audience recommends the show to others and over 50% of you have taken action or done something different as a result of listening to this show.
What really struck me is the power of the conversation medium. I have come from a print background and everything we do is in online, in text, or in magazines. The rich connection that we make with our guests by speaking to them is what makes it really nice. A study done in the 70’s showed that only 70% of people’s feelings came from words and the rest is in tonality and body language. We can pick up people’s tones and humor in bringing them to the conversation by bringing them off the page and into our hears. That made it much more powerful and valuable for us and for our listeners.
The belief here is that the individual is the one who creates the change in their organizations. The model that we start with is that the individual is the unit of the analysis. Then the individual is part of the team or leading a team. The third level of analysis, if you like, is the organization. The fourth level of analysis is the ecosystem. If you go back to this individual analysis, one of the common themes is the idea of mindset. Whitney Johnson talked about the personal disruption, others have talked about the importance of resilience and recovery. For instance, David Allen’s weekly review. The level of the individual has been a huge amount of insight, in terms of what can people do personally in order to accelerate the innovation journey if you like.
The importance of passion is stressed too, such as my interview with Orit Wolf, the concert pianist. That is clearly an individual aspect that people need to bring to the organization. Steve Goldstein, the former CEO of American Express Bank highlighted on storytelling which is the real skill that people need to have in their leadership repertoire.
Rob Swan who is our last guest, the Polar Explorer, talks about storytelling. The individual level is a huge amount of resource. It is a huge amount of insight and perspectives. That is driving a lot of the energy they have to take action as a result of listening to the show. A lot of our audience are leaders of teams and leaders of organizations or functions. Lisa Bodell, our first guest talked about killing rules and creating space. Scott talks about how the individual energy that a leader brings to the room actually is a multiplier effect to the team.There is a lot of stuff here.
I recall my interview with Steven D’Souza, he talked about in order to bring a team together, you need to give people space and the opportunity for them to do something. You can’t do everything. Those two aspects really come through in team development.
Kevin Kelly talked about questioning future skills that we especially need to get good at, particularly in a world that is always on technology. The third level is the organizational level; a number of our listeners are running organizations. Here, a big theme came out consistently is on, “How do I balance the short term need to deliver quarterly numbers with the long term perspective of creating an organization that sustains itself and can innovate on a sustainable basis, versus suffering the fate of a company like Kodak or Blockbuster?” Here I recalled the conversation with Larry Cunningham who is the biographer of Berkshire. He talked at length about that.
Whitney Johnson, having come from Wall Street also worked on the by side with Clayton Christenson, talked about it. And Mark Vollenweider, the CEO of two fast growth companies, is overseeing managing that tension of disrupting the business from within. That was a really strong theme. What did you hear from the organizational level, Roddy?
The piece of research that Sydney Finkelstein has been conducting is the basis for his book called Superbosses. The best bosses are the ones that help them flourish. I think that was a fascinating insight. These people who are nurturing great talent are aware that they can’t clip their wings, so they allow them to flourish outside the organization because that brings back the value to the organization. That leads us onto the ecosystem element of the model.
What they are doing is that they are priming the ecosystem with talent on the basis that they can take advantage of them in the future and perhaps go to them as a friendly competitor who they can work with. I think Rob Wolcott talked about how McKinsey managed their ecosystem very well with their alumni. They recognized that when people leave McKinsey, they often go into large jobs and bring McKinsey back in as consultants.
The ecosystem is a strong theme. We heard it from Chris Goppelsroeder, CEO of DSM Nutritional Products, and DSM is well known for managing the ecosystem. Chris say it’s highly unlikely and very rarely, that a company irrespective of it’s resources, would have the right people at the right time sitting around the right table at the right quantity to do things that they needed to do for the business. So he manages the ecosystem very well.
Of course, Emmanuel Gobillot in his latest book, Disciplined Collaboration, is all around how you collaborate not only in the four walls of the organization, but in the ecosystem as well. The model itself starts with the individual but it goes all the way up to the ecosystem. There are wonderful, exciting, and insightful threads that have woven their way through that Four Step Model. It’s one of the reasons why people are able to be confident in taking action in their organizations or in their lives is a result of listening to our materials.
The key part that I take from that is the power all starts with the individual. The energy has to come from individuals as actors themselves. Without that, none of the rest will follow. That brings us back to looking at people’s behaviors and getting people to change behaviors. People are changing behaviors on listening to the stories that are told on the podcast.
Of course we have only just begun, so let us now switch to talk about the future.
Now we are preparing for Season 2. We got some extraordinary guests coming up. Some of them will be familiar to you. A couple were recommended to us by our audience.
For instance, the man who is connected to the rebirth of industries in Switzerland, and also some more renowned people in thought leadership and academics, plus one or two entrepreneurs whose products that you or your children might be raving fans of. We are also exploring what other resources are available to you in order to help you and your organizations become more innovative and more entrepreneurial.
My business, for instance, summarizes the research across a wide range of business topics particularly on leadership, innovation, and change. Take a look at that on www.IdeasforLeaders.com. We will be looking at ways to share their insights with you in the coming months. We will also be bringing you additional eBooks on the back of the success of our first one, Joining the Dots, which you can find on the Innovation Ecosystem website, and digging into the big meta themes that keep coming out in our conversations.
We touched on those themes earlier on such as mindsets, and creating space for you and your team to step back and start to explore new horizons and tools to build resilience and recovery, as well as a new model of a leadership that is touched on by Sydney, by Emmanuel and our CEO guests.
Before we end, we would like to thank Harry and his team from Fullcast for all of his help in this show. And also Holga and his team of artists for painstakingly recording every interview and creating some wonderful digital assets that make it easier to absorb and review the strategies, insights, and tools, which our guests generously shared with us over the last few months.
What is left for us to do is to thank you, our listeners, for your support, encouragement, and attention. We know you are busy. You have lots of things you can be doing with your time, and we are grateful that you find value in the work that we are doing. That is helping you and your organizations be more innovative and entrepreneurial.
Wishing you all a great summer, and looking forward to joining you in Season 2 in September.
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- Getting Things Done by David Allen
- The Inevitable by Kevin Kelley
- Superbosses by Sydney Finkelstein
- Discipline Colaboration by Emmanuel Gobillot
- Ideas for Leaders
- eBook – Joining the Dots
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